The tribe Ornithogaleae (subfamily Scilloideae) consists of 16 genera with about 300 species (Speta 1998a, b). Zahariadia, one of these 16 genera however, has not been described validly up to now. In the present study 34 species of 15 genera from Africa and Europe were investigated. Morphology and micromorphology was studied using a scanning electron microscope. Micromorphological data for the following genera are new to science: Avonsera, Dipcadi, Galtonia, Igidia, Neopatersonia and Zahariadia. For characterization of seed morphology a total of 33 characters were considered. The list of characters and character states is based on the works of Barthlott (1981, 1984), Barthlott & Ehler (1977) and Werker (1997). In some characters the set of states was expanded. Characters of the seed coat surface, the primary structure, the secondary structure, and the tertiary structure were considered. Some of the characters proved to be particularly useful for the differentiation of genera and therefore support the narrower genus concept of this study. These include the cell size and shape, the structure and the relief of the anticlinal cell wall. Some of the characters also proved as inapplicable for the characterization of genera (e.g. occurrence of a rib between two anticlinal walls). However, most of the 16 genera can be clearly differentiated by the characters used in this study. So, for instance, genera with a distribution north of the Sahara (e.g. Ornithogalum) could be distinguished from the genera that occur south of the Sahara (e.g. Albuca or Eliokarmos). Ornithogalum shows mostly rounded to ellipsoidal seeds with straight anticlinal walls and plane periclinal walls. Genera south of the Sahara rather show flattened seeds with undulated anticlinal walls and convex periclinal walls that often show tubercles. Within the genera species often show a lot of similarities so that differentiation by means of the characters used in this study often proved hardly possible.